RAISING KIDS EQUALLY

One of the toughest challenges of parenting that I have tackled successfully (I believe so) is raising two children by striking a balance in their upbringing.  It started the day when I conceived my second child.  Often second-time parents overlook the fact that the arrival of a sibling is going to cause a big change in the older child’s life.  Preparing the older child for the sibling is extremely important.  No matter what, after the arrival of the second child, the first child somewhere feels left out.  From being the centre of attention of everyone, suddenly one fine day he/she is made to share the attention, he/she is told that he/she has “grown up”.  In many households, the older child is not allowed to touch the younger child or rebuked if the older child makes noise or plays around his/her sibling.  I remember when my son used to come back from school my daughter would be so happy to see her brother.  My son would come and take her in his lap and cuddle with her.  How could I ask him to wash his hands or not touch his sister when both the kids were so excited to see each other?  How could I allow few germs to take away that moment and break my older child’s heart?  Trust me, nothing happens.  The younger child grows up stronger and learns things much faster in the company of his/her elder sibling.

My husband and I have always taken care to be fair with both the kids.  By the virtue of being younger or older, they are not allowed to get away with things.  Also, parents should never compare their children.  “Look how intelligent your brother is” or “Look how smartly your sister talks to everyone” and so on.  If unknowingly you do that, please rectify it.  The scars of childhood comparison and resentment remain forever.

Raising both the genders, I have tried to instill same values in both the kids.  Treating sons and daughters equally starts from the home.  Also, raising strong, compassionate, confident boys and girls starts from home.  You simply don’t bring another child to give “company” to the older child. 

Giving birth is easy, raising both the children equally is the toughest part of parenting.

RITWIKA ROY MUTSUDDI

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